Know Your Own Way
"You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul."
~ Swami Vivekananda
Traditional religions purport we should “follow” someone and their teachings to get closer to God. This could be a guru or teacher, even the principal being upon whom the religion is based, like the Buddha or Muhammad. Some religions teach that this “holy one” has been directly sent from a divine source, or is a representation of Source itself, as in the case of Jesus or Krishna.
Yet, there is no one right way to practice a religion or to walk a spiritual path. We each must find our own way and listen to the voice that takes us into a greater daily experience of peace, love, and joy. As Fr. Richard Rohr explains it, “If truth is one, we must recognize we are all approaching that one divine truth from different angles, with different needs, in different eras, and with different starting points. But I find the final goal to be the same.”
When he walked upon the earth, the Buddha became famous for telling his followers to question everything, even him. He encouraged every person to find his or her own truth. He reportedly said, “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”
Fr. Anthony de Mello (a Hindu by birth and a Christian Jesuit by practice) said very much the same thing. In his book, One Minute Wisdom, he uses the centuries old tradition of using teaching stories, not unlike Zen koans, to startle us into thinking in a new way.
We'd like to share two of these spiritual riddles with you. Each one invites us to look at who we follow and what we believe.
You may wish to reflect on these questions:
How do these teaching stories sit with you?
When it comes to your own inner knowing, who do you listen to? Your soul, or the voice of someone else?
Do you trust that inner voice? Does it take you into a deeper understanding of how to live with peace, joy and love?
Janice L. Lundy, DMin
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Deepening the understanding, practice and importance of spiritual guidance-companionship across traditions.
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